17 September 2018

Fomalhaut - Barzon Session Report 1

September 16, 2018. Session 1 of a new campaign on the planet Fomalhaut-1, on Barzon, an island of the Emerald Sea (a module by Gabor Lux aka Melan)
Pangea and Zena are foreign heretics who arrived in the palace's court by an ancient, long unused portal from Hot Springs Island. They can escape punishment by secretly helping Svanth. The flying gods (giant wasps) will rend the Empire's soldiers on the day of Ascendance (three days from now.) Some of the Empire's soldiers are loyal to Svanth, who is the Trademaster and a local ruler. He needs their commander dead, he needs his untrusted merchant ally Ullkmaran kept indoors and away from the events of that day, and he needs the empire's soldiers dead. It's absolutely necessary that no one learns that anyone local is involved. The flying gods will be the only recorded cause of the coup.
This seems like I'm railroading the party a bit. That's slightly true, but my players know they can do whatever they can get away with, even when pinned down. Read on to see.
Svanth sent some of the city soldiers with Pangea and Zena to prevent the flying gods from tearing them to bits, since they are foreigners and, by necessity, heretics.
They went to meet with Ullkmaran in his home. They sensed ill portent when they saw teenage girls in skimpy clothes accompanying him. He offered wine and they bargained with him, offering drugs or silver for paralyzing poison he makes of flying god remnants when they land in the wasteland to die.
I felt weird about including something so distasteful even though it's in the module. It really characterizes him strongly and gave me a sense of how to play him. I gave him a very gentle, effeminate voice.
He agreed and they drank together as he inquired about their lives and the lands they had been through. Pangea was leery of the wine and only sipped it, but Zena downed it in one gulp, after checking to see that the city guards were not poorly affected, and she immediately became paralyzed. Before she did, however, Ullkmaran convinced the city guard to leave the room to get more wine and he ordered one of his two present bodyguards to leave as well.
Pangea. the merchant, and his remaining guard fought. The battle was very chaotic due to a magical object and the merchant used all of his laser gun ammo at once (due to an unlucky roll) to do very little damage and Pangea killed his guard with a crossbow.
They agreed to part peacefully in the end, due to ramifications for either party. Ullkmaran did not appear to desire to act with hostility with the city guard present, though his bodyguards (11 were then present) laughed a bit when they ascertained his intentions. The party didn't want to die fighting so many of his men.
Ullkmaran (a 5th level thief) is stalking them. He normally wouldn't go to such trouble for slaves, but he would like an opportunity to steal Pangea's powerful magic necklace (which was used in the altercation.)
They found ancient, fragile explosives in wreckage at the bottom of a green-tinged crater (the wasteland that the gods supposedly go to when they're ready to die.)
The explosives each do 6d6 damage and could explode on a 1 in 6 if jostled. The city guard warned the party of their danger and fragility, but the party doesn't know the specifics. Zena and Pangea each stored one in their own pack, "carefully."
Only one ship is big enough to travel much distance. This is a small island they want to get off of, so they had been planning to steal the thing or secure passage, depending on what was most feasible. The rest of the harbor is populated by fishing boats. The players then tried to work out how to blow the big ship up because it belongs to Ullkmaran, and they just hate hate hate him.
They wrote him a love letter from the commander of the Empire's army, asking him to her room at a specific time. They intend to poison her with a lethal overdose of paralysis poison and get him to show up just afterward.
The party finally bought new clothes in town, went into a changing tent, put on heavy makeup and went out the back in an attempt to evade their personal soldier escort. It worked. Additionally, the flying gods did not attack them when they were unattended.

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